I took my 2002 Prius in to the shop today to have the brakes looked at because they were squeaking when I back up. It has 78,000 miles on it, and I’ve never changed the brake pads: most of the braking is done by the electric motor during regenerate breaking , but after 78K miles, the squeaking made me think they’d finally been worn down enough to be replaced. The reason I only heard squeaking when I back up is because the electric motor does the breaking almost all the time (unless I’m stomping on it) under normal
Wrong! The garage just called me and told me it by back pads were about 1/2 worn down, and the fronts looked like they’d been recently replaced, but not resurfaced. The surface was glazed, which is what was causing the squeaking. Or maybe it was the rear pads.
At this rate, it looks like I’m <em>never</em> going to have to replace the brake pads on the front, while I might have to replace the rears once before I hit 200,000 miles.
I’ll have them checked again in another 5 years, just to be safe.